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ETS and the trinity: Luther on potestas

August 5, 2012

This can’t help but become tediously long. It’s hopeless. No wonder it will never be sorted out and we will never communicate with one another on this. Here is Luther, from Luther: Lectures in Romans, on the topic. Notice that he wrote in German about the different Latin words for “power.” There were enough Latin words, although he notes that they have been used interchangeably. The problem is that virtus, potentia, potestas, and autoritas, which Luther does not mention, are all translated into English as “power.”

It seems that it will be futile to speculate further on the meaning of the English doctrinal basis of the ETS. The phrase “equal in power” could have referred to either virtus, potentia, potestas or autoritas. We do know that the Westminster Catechism was translated into Latin using the word potentia, so it is best to run with that.
More on whether the Son is equal in potestas to the Father tomorrow. To access all posts in this series click on the tag for ETS.

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